Flow structure formation and evolution in circulating gas-fluidised beds

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The occurrence of heterogeneous flow structures in gas-particle flows seriously affects the gas-solid contacting and transport processes in high-velocity gas-fluidized beds. Particles do not disperse uniformly in the flow but pass through the bed in a swarm of clusters. The so-called "core-annulus" structure in the radial direction and "S" shaped axial distribution of solids concentration characterize the typical flow structure in the system. A computational study, using the discrete particle approach based on molecular dynamics techniques, has been carried out to explore the mechanisms underlying formation of the clusters and the core-annulus structure. Based on energy budget analysis including work done by the drag force, kinetic energy, rotational energy, potential energy, and energy dissipation due to particle-particle and particle-wall collisions, the role of gas-solid interaction and inelastic collisions between the particles are elucidated. It is concluded that the competition between gas-solid interaction and particle-particle interaction determines the pattern formation in high-velocity gas-solid flows: if the gas-solid interaction (under elevated pressure) dominates, most of particle energy obtained by drag from the gas phase is partitioned such that particle potential energy is raised, leading to a uniform flow structure. Otherwise, a heterogeneous pattern exists, which could be induced by both particle-particle collisions and gas-solid interaction. Although both factors could cause the flow instability, the non-linear drag force is demonstrated to be the necessary condition to trigger heterogeneous flow structure formation. As gas velocity increases and goes beyond a critical value, the fluid-particle interaction suppresses particle collisional dissipation, and as a consequence a more homogeneous flow regime is formed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalChina Particuology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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